Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Holland Summerfest – New Holland, PA

August 26th, around 9:30am, on I-76 heading towards New Holland, PA and I couldn't get her out of my mind. The Summerfest competition is a PA State Championship and one of the best organized events of the year. I should be thinking about cooking times and meat presentation but I couldn't get her out of my head, knowing she will be there soon. I tried preparing early for her but there was only so much I could do to get ready. Irene is off the coast of Florida and expected to make landfall on the 27th somewhere in North Carolina then continue screaming right up the east coast.

You would never know there was a category 3 hurricane closing in by the weather Friday morning as we set up camp, the sun even poked out a few times. Around 11pm that night, as I was putting our brisket on the smoker, the wind started picking up slightly - a reminder of what was only 24hrs., or so, away.

At 5am Saturday, the ribs hit the smoker and chicken took a swim in some brine and it started to look like rain.

The chicken started cooking around 9am, the wind was also starting to pick up.

The rain did hold off long enough for us to get all of our meats turned in to the judges, but by the time the award ceremony began it started getting nasty! They rushed giving out the awards so teams could get out of there before it really got bad... some teams did not wait around for the awards at all!
Chicken was dead ass last, 67th.
Ribs finished in 4th place, some of the best ribs I have made at a competition!

The pork landed at 23rd, I thought it should have scored a bit higher.

This was the first time I ever injected brisket, till now I have been a purist when it comes to the large meats.
Brisket took 6th place!
We ended up finishing 16th overall out of 67 teams. The biggest challenge was heading home to Philly in that blinding rain, with Irene racing to meet us there! We made it home safe and I didn't even get that much water in my basement... nice try Irene!
Oh - and special thanks to my good luck charm that showed up at the event, the real reason all ended up well!


  1. We went to New Holland for the competition as well (as visitors, Flavor of Rub sat that one out). Dude, I don't know how you did it! The campground we stayed at (Lake In Wood Campground) would not refund our weekend deposit. So we went anyway, thinking we'd be able to stay long enough to check out the competition. We never made it. We spent the night before at the Shady Maple Supermarket buying bottled water and snacks (because reports from home were that the shelves were BARE in S. Jersey everywhere). Then on Saturday we woke up, packed up and tried to get home. Awesome to read and remember that weekend.

    Kudos on the Ribs, too bad about the pork, and the chicken, dead last? That don't sound like you!!!

    Glad you are catching up on recaps, gives me something to read, because until now, I swore I got to the end of the internet!

  2. The wind gusts were so high during the awards that tree branches were fall every where. It was a tricky ride home, one of those competition you'll never forget.